NaNoWriMo Prep 2





Last week was horrible. Between kid activities and the hurricane, I’ve accomplished next to nothing. I’m still working on Origins. I had hoped to have this round of edits finished before NaNo, but I’m not so sure that will happen. I’m 3/4 of the way through, but I have to change POV. I’m going from 3rd person to 1st. It’s tedious to say the least. But it works much better this way. A quick shout out to K. Nebity, she recommended I read The Phantom Tollbooth. I did. I enjoyed it but not as much as I would have if I had read it as a kid. Thanks for the recommendation.

NaNoWriMo 2017

October is Perptober. I didn’t know it had an actual name:)

I have the main idea of the story (spark) and the two main characters. I still need to finish fleshing these characters out and finish with the ghost rules.

This week goals:

  • complete character inventory sheet/back story- I like to delve deep into my main characters. So this is a must this week.
  • Sign up on NaNo website- I need to do this. I did buy this year’s t-shirt. And it’s already arrived 😉
  • Work harder on finishing Origins.
  • Think about the major plot points for NaNo. It’s a ghost/mystery story. I want this started soon because I will need to do a little research at the library later.
  • Finish setting out Ghost rules (from last week)

If you are going to participate in NaNo this year, Click here to read more information and sign up. There are also Twitter sprints that take place once NaNo starts. I love those. Sprints really make you write. There are also other groups on different social media sites.

A few sites with NaNoWriMo Prep ideas:

Boho Berry has printables and links. She has a beautiful NaNo bullet journal. Yes, I’m jealous.

Storyist has an in-depth page on NaNo prep. It would work for starting a novel at any time.

Better Novel Project has an outline.

Here is an October schedule for NaNo.

There you go. A few resaurces to help you along.

How is your planning going?



NaNoWriMo Prep 1

I know it kind of slipped up on me too. But November is just around the corner, like 29 days away. That’s right. It’s time to get your little monsters in a row.

I sat down this morning with my calendar and came up with a weekly goal to help me prepare for NaNo. I know from experience, the more prepared I am the better chance I have of winning. Meaning completing a 50,000 word novel.  Along with the regular prep work, I have a novella I am halfway through editing. I need to finish that. It’s hard to concentrate on NaNo with other projects looming. I still hear the aching call of last years unfinished NaNo novel. Poor thing.

Week 1 Tasks:

  1. Find that spark– The idea that is big enough to spark your creative juices to write a full length novel. I have mine. One that has been itching on the edge of my brain for months. But an idea is not a story. Nor is it a plot. It’s just an idea.
  2. Decide on main characters– I have two characters already. I’ve started fleshing them out, learning about their back story. I hope from this I will know where to go with the story. I’m not too concerned with the minor characters at the moment. Those can come later. Is it novel worth or just a short story idea, the characters will tell me.
  3. Location– This is the hard part. I know where the story takes place but I think it will be in two time periods. Possibly now and the 40s.
  4. Rules– It’s a ghost story. So I need to cement the “rules” for ghosts. What they can and can’t do. Who becomes a ghost? Things like that. I’ve got it started and once I get to work on the plot I’ll make addictions or changes.

Those are the 4 things I need to accomplish this week. Anything else will be brownie points.

Are joining NaNoWriMo?




Autumn Reading List

I usually do a monthly TBR. Until this summer when I participated in the 20 Books of Summer. I really liked how that worked out. So I decided to make a TBR for fall. Technically, it’s fall but the temperatures here are still in the 90s. That’s the South for ya.

I’m a little late getting this posted (I’ve read 3 of the books so far) but I’m excited for it. I’ve included tons of “fall” reads. Although, my daughter did ask if I was EVER going to get around to reading the books she placed on my TBR shelf. Isn’t that sweet. She picked two books she thinks I’ll like, I should include them but I think I’ll wait for winter. One is huge.

On with it.

Authumn TBR

  1. Search for the Dead by Sheila Connolly
  2. Pumpkin Killer by Stacey Alabaster
  3. O’ Happy Dagger by Monica Knightly
  4. Off the Leash by ?
  5. Kissing the Werewolf by Kendra Ashe
  6. Yesterday’s Thief by Al Macy
  7. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahme-Smith
  8. Pumpkins in Paradise by Kathi Daley
  9. Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  10. Candy Corn Murders by Laslie Meier
  11. The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
  12. Fairy Eyeglasses by Emily Martha Sorensen
  13. Familiar Trouble by Carolyn Haines
  14. Ghostly Interests by Lily Harper Hart
  15. In for a Penny by ?
  16. Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase
  17. Darkness Echoes by L.A. Starkey
  18. False Identity by Jennifer Youngblood
  19. Spelled by Betsy Schow
  20. Nightmares by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

That’s a huge list. Most of these are on my Kindle and I’m hoping to clear some of these out. My kindle has gotten a little out of hand (505 books). As you can see from the titles, they have spooky theme to most of them. Maybe not spooky but Halloween.

What are you  planning to read this fall?


All That Jazz

Center A trumpet playing gorilla.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’m still working through wrist issues. I’m finished with physical therapy and no longer have limitations on activities. I’m hoping to get back on schedule with my writing.

While I was recovering, my hubby and I watched the 10 part series Jazz by Ken Burns. That’s two hours per episode- it took a while to finish but was well worth the time.

I love Jazz. I don’t know when or where that love came form. Growing up with day trips to New Orleans, Jazz was always there. Every winter, Jazz bands played at Mardi Gras in downtown Mobile. Once in high school a boy took me to the Saenger Theater to see/hear Dizzy Gillespie play. My hubby plays the trumpet. Jazz has always surrounded me.

The documentary fascinated me. Granted the finer points of music composition and jargon was beyond me, but the music was infectious. Louis Armstrong was heavily featured (of course) but Ella Fitzgerald was not (so sad).

A few highlights:

  • Louis Armstrong is considered one of the founding fathers of jazz.
  • Jazz is a truly American musical form, New Orleans.
  • Jazz can be divided into many categories: Swing, Dixie, Be-Bop, Fusion, Avant Garde …
  • Jazz changes with the times and reflects current events.
  • Like other music forms some of the most famous musicians died from drugs.

If you love music give the series a try.

Bear with me, my spell check is not working.




Writing Rituals

While recovering from wrist surgery this summer I accomplished very little. No writing. Lots of reading and TV. I watched YouTube more than I should admit. Not all cat videos I promise. I discovered several writers. One, Kristen Martin had a recent video on #WritingRituals . I think it was created by Kim Chance. I’ve since watched several, then decided to try my hand at it. Sans Youtube.

Writing Ritual Tag

  1. When do you write- time/day?

I haven’t written much of anything all summer. It’s hard to type in a cast. I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. Because I live in a tiny house with loud teenagers I write while they are at school. It’s very hard for me to get anything accomplished on the weekends. So 8:30 am weekdays I try to write/edit for a couple of hours.  I can do research, readings, and light critiques in the evenings and weekends. But real writing is when the kids are away.

2.  How do you seclude yourself from the outside world when writing?

Social media is a huge distraction for me. I don’t turn wi-fi off because then I wouldn’t beable to look things up online. We’ve all had instances when our brain fails and can’t figure out the proper spelling for ‘dynamite’ or how to use a comma. So what I do is: close the curtains, turn on some music, and turn notifications off. I can still use the internet but no text messages or calls get through or thousands of app notifications I have yet to learn how to block. I will take short breaks and check the calls to make sure nothing urgent was missed.

3. How do you review what you wrote the day before?

I will briefly read over what I wrote. Not to edit. That’s important. If I jump down the editing road I will never finish. I may add to what I wrote, but I mainly want to review the events, tone, and voice so that I pick up in the proper spot.

4. What song is your go to song when feeling uninspired?

I don’t have a certain song. Instead, as I plan and start writing a new project, I create a playlist for my story. For instance, my current project has a playlist called Superhero Mix. It includes movie theme songs and songs played in movies or inspired by super heroes. Yes, I’m a nerd. Guess what the new project is about…

5. What do you do when you feel writer’s block?

I’ve never really had writer’s block. Right now I lack motivation. I’ve been out of the habit for months and it’s hard picking it back up. Watching YouTube videos and reading writing magazines helps get the spark back. Also writing little things, like this blog post, helps with igniting the feeling of writing. There are times I’m unsure of where to go with a project or I’m uninspired about what I’m writing. I find it useful to change activities. Trying another creative hobby (drawing, photography, etc) or even a physical activity will help. I just need to step away and do something different.

6. What tools do you use when you are writing?

I now write/plan using Scrivener. I love the note card feature and having a place to keep research and character info close at hand as I write. I will print all of this out and keep it in a binder because well…I’m still old school. I don’t entirely trust the computer not to crash and lose everything I’ve worked on. Most of my older writing (unfinished) is in Word. For those projects, I still work in word. I also have a huge stack of writing/reference books I keep close at hand. Here are a few of them.

The emotion thesaurus series is very helpful. I know I tend to reuse the same expressions and phrases. These books help me break that cycle. If you write mystery/suspense or anything where a character may get injured I highly recommend a book on trauma and anatomy. Trust me on that. Also if you write about a real life location. Even if it has a fictional name, it is useful to know about the natural world. It adds a layer of believability. Trust me. The locals know when you don’t do your research.

7. The one thing you can’t live without while writing?

Music. I can not write without music. And Tea. I must have hot tea. And chocolate. Lots of tea and chocolate.

8. How do you fuel yourself while writing?

Again, hot tea. Sometimes coffee. I need something warm and caffeinated. I usually have something small to snack on. Clean finger food. Small pieces of chocolate, pretzels, or cookies. Shortbreads are my favorite. It’s not particularly healthy but it’s what I like.

9. How do you know when you are done writing?

I try to finish the scene. That’s a must. When my mind starts wandering to chores or errands I need to

What ya writing?

do I know I’m finished for the day. Sometimes I can pick back up after lunch but that’s rare. Once I walk away from the computer I am done.


And let’s not forget my writing buddy. She keeps me company as I type away.

There you go. My #writingrituals.

What are yours?



Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #1

I found this post on the Writerly Reader but the meme was started by Lost in a Story (not sure why the link is odd)

Here are the rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

There are 826 books on my to-read shelf. Yikes! I think a few of those can be tossed. An even scarier task would be to look at the books on my kindle but we will save that for another day. The books listed have been there since 2015.

Wrist update: This is my first attempt at real typing without a splint. I’m not sure how long I can keep this up 😉

The Books

Caught Read-Handed (A Read 'Em and Eat Mystery, #2)Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran

This is book 2 in a series. I haven’t read book 1…yet. Why is it on my Goodreads list? Beacuse it is a cozy mystery set in Florida. I have a soft spot for Southern cozies. BUT it dosen’t sound all that interesting. Kind of generic actually.



The Neptune Challenge (The Neptune Project, #2) The Neptune Challenge by Polly Holyoke

This is also book 2 in a series. Ouch. I don’t know why I wanted to read this one. I love mermaids but most mermaid books are not what I wanted or expected. I think this one may be too young for me now. Maybe my kids wanted to read it…



Swan Dive (An Elliott Lisbon Mystery, #3)Swan Dive by Kendel Lynn

Seriously! This is book 3 in a series. I need to start with book 1 ;D This sounds right up my alley. A cozy mystery surrounding the Nutcracker ballet. Sign me up. Where can I get a copy?




SpelledSpelled by Betsy Snow

Finally the first in a series. I want the book and the shoes. Can I have both? I don’t know if I want to buy the book or find it at the library but I think this is going to the top of my Fall TBR list. A retelling of the Wizard of Oz? Of course the library doesn’t own a copy.


Double Mint (Davis Way Crime Caper, #4)Double Mint by Gretchen Archer

This is book 4 in the Davis Way series, but that’s okay becasue I’ve read the first 3 books. Sounds funny. I’ve loved them all and will read this one. It’s a Southern cozy 🙂



The Take Away

I deleated 2 books from my Goodreads list.

Added 1 book to my Fall TBR.

Placed 2 books on my  IGTIBID List. (I’ll get to it before I die)


What’s on your Goodreads List?


20 Books of Summer Final

20 books

This meme was started by Cathy at 746 Books    

Funny story, this was not meant to publlish for another week. I’m way off 🙂

20 Books of Summer TBR

  • Tomorrow When the War Began- John Marsden
    Loved it.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them J.K. Rowling- just like the movie, very quick read
  • Beach Town– Mary Kay Andrews DNF This is the only Mary Kay Andrews book I didn’t finish. I could not get into it.
  • Weeki Wachee Springs- Maryan and Dan Pelland Great bit of Florida roadside fun.
  • Wandering Island– Kenji Tsuruta
    Fun little book. Especially after I got the hang of reading the blocks in the correct order.
  • Must Love Chainmail– Angela Quarles
    not my ususal genre to read but I enjoyed the timetravel aspect and the characters. fun read
  • The Elfstones of Shannara– Terry Brooks
  • A Study in Charlotte– Brittany Cavallaro
    surprisingly fast paced but felt a bit excessive like an 80s teen movie.
  • Wicked Mobile – Brendan Kirby
  • The Princess Diaries Meg Cabot
    Loved it. Totally different than the movie.
  • The Shores of Spain– J. Kathleen Cheney Great book. It was not what I expected. I flet like it centered more on other characters and not the original pair.
  • Illuminae– Kaufman & Kristoff
    this was an interesting book with an unusual format
  • Unsympathetic Magic– Laura Resnick
    not as good as the other 3 I’ve read in the series.
  • The Napoleon of Notting Hill– G.K. Chesterton
    DNF my e-copy was badly formatted, making it annoying to read
  • This old Homicide– Kate Carlisle
  • Fixin to Die– Tonya Kappes
    fun southern mystery
  • Bitter Harvest– Wendy Tyson
    entertaining but not sure I will continue the series
  • Counterfeit Conspiracies– Ritter Ames I loved this. Funny and action packed.
  • Macdeath– Cindy Brown
  • Glistens– Chess Desalls fun, short fantasy read

Books I also read:

  • See by Lee Ann Ward
  • The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
  • Chasing Space by Leland Melvin
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • Swim Season by Marianne Sciucco
  • Blood Orchids by Toby Neal

Drum roll please! I actually finished 20 books 🙂 I didn’t finish all of them on my list, but I tried.

What did you read this summer?